The morning of our third day in Hawaii was bright and sunny. We enjoyed yet another marvelous buffet breakfast at the Rainbow Lanai, then we packed our stuff and headed out. We wanted to make sure that we would be able to park the car and spend some time snorkeling and swimming at Hanauma Bay! We got there around 9 AM, and this was what was waiting for us:
It was a gorgeous day – and the parking lot was pretty empty when we got there. Plenty of space for us! And just look at it! We could look down at it from the parking lot, and what a view. We both had to get our pictures taken:
[[image:hi24.jpg:Vin with the Bay in the background:center:0]]
[[image:hi25.jpg:Don’t pay attention to the girl marring the view:center:0]]
We paid our entrance fee (free to Hawaiian residents) and watched a 10 minute video on what we can/can’t do (e.g., don’t feed the fish, don’t stand on the corals, don’t touch the corals, etc.). We had brought our own refreshments (water, coke, chocolates, cookies) so we didn’t have to buy anything at the food place way up there and we just made our way down to the beach.
Here are some pictures of the beach at beach level:
[[image:hi26.jpg:Vin and me:center:0]]
[[image:hi27.jpg:Mouth of the bay:center:0]]
[[image:hi28.jpg:Waves spraying, random snorkeling lady:center:0]]
We stayed there until about 3 PM. We snorkeled and swam, and read our books in the shade of some coconut trees (we were early enough to bag a really good spot). There were plenty of fish but my freaking goggles kept fogging up! Bah, humbug! Also, we were extremely happy we had brought our water shoes. The bottom of the bay is sandy only in very few spots (as you can see from the pictures from above) and where we had parked ourselves did not correspond to underwater sandiness. But by 3 PM, the sun had shifted its position in the sky enough that we were getting too hot (my shoulders and back got burnt pretty badly!) so it was time to go.
I would say though, that the corals in Pulau Redang were still more beautiful than the ones at Hanauma Bay, although it did seem like there were a lot more variety of fish at Hanauma. (Caveat: the last time I snorkeled at Pulau Redang I didn’t own my own prescription goggles, so it is entirely possible that I missed plenty of the fish swimming around there due to myopic vision).
While waiting for Vin to change in the restrooms, I spotted some more birds:
[[image:hi29.jpg:A Hawaiian Cardinal?:center:0]]
[[image:hi30.jpg:Sparrow with a cool Red-Jambuled birdie:center:0]]
So after a relaxing day of snorkeling, swimming and reading (I finished reading The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig), we went back to the hotel where we showered, put lotion on my poor burnt shoulders and Vin’s burned feet (which he kept thoroughly sunblocked and he kept his water shoes on so the feet did not suffer further burns), and relaxed a little bit. Then we set off next door to meet up with Jin Wei and his family for dinner.
We had teppanyaki, cooked by this guy:
And Jin Wei, who was a few years ahead of me at ACS Sitiawan, kindly came out with his family to meet up with us (thank you ACS Forum for helping to get us back in touch). Jin Wei’s father taught Hisham and me to swim in good old Teluk Batik over 20 years ago!!
[[image:hi32.jpg:Jin Wei, Jason, Mrs Jin Wei, Jasmine, and Justin:center:0]]
[[image:hi33.jpg:Jin Wei and Jasmine with Justin in the background:center:0]]
We had a wonderful chat, catching on who’s doing what, how everybody’s parents and family are doing, and what in the world is happening to Sitiawan??? Thanks for dinner, Jin Wei! 🙂
Then we went back to our hotel, full of happiness of meeting up with old friends.
Now for some photostitching. Which, by the way, I learned the hard way that photostitching something as moveable and changeable as a panoramic view of the sea is quite challenging! So forgive some of the un-smooth connections found here, I blame that on the waves rippling, never the same twice.
[[image:hi_st05.jpg:Vin viewing Hanauma Bay from above:center:0]]
[[image:hi_st06.jpg:Hanauma Bay waters from above:center:0]]
[[image:hi_st07.jpg:The view from midway down to the beach:center:0]]
[[image:hi_st08.jpg:Vegetation surrounding the beach:center:0]]
We stopped at a scenic point just a few miles back towards the hotel to view Koko Crater and parts of Honolulu:
[[image:hi_st09.jpg:Koko Crater rightmost, and Honolulu to the left:center:0]]